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On 10th May one of the strangest episodes in the story of the war occurred. Adolf Hitler’s Deputy Fuhrer, Rudolf Hess, parachuted into Scotland alone. Hess claimed that his astrologer had told him that he, Rudolf Hess, was personally destined to be the bringer of peace between Britain and Germany. Hess claimed that in return for a free hand in Europe, Britain would be allowed to retain her empire. The offer was rejected, and Hess was to spend the rest of his life in captivity. World War II: The Complete History: The World Shall Hold Its Breath, Discovery 2000
The influence of Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess, has been dwindling since the start of the war. Chronicle of the Third Reich, H2 2013
Of all Hitler’s henchmen he was the truest believer. Hitler’s Henchmen: Hess
He was always prominent in brawls such as the Beer-Hall Putsch of November 1923 when Hitler tried to seize power in Bavaria and failed miserably. ibid.
Seduction and brutality – the National Socialist Party used both. ibid.
Hess loved to play the role of High Priest to the Party. ibid.
Hitler no longer took his idiosyncratic deputy seriously. Hess withdrew into his private life. ibid.
Hess meanwhile had taken up astrology. ibid.
He came to a solitary decision ... Hess tried to make contact with the enemy but the British Secret Service intercepted his message ... May 10th 5:45 p.m. Hess took off ... An astrologer had predicted the stars were favourable ... Just a few miles short of his goal Hess parachuted to the ground. ibid.
Hess became a bone of contention ... Was Rudolf Hess murdered? ibid.
Hitler’s right-hand man. The Deputy Fuhrer who thought that thoughts could move objects and that Britain would make peace with Hitler. Rudolf Hess was on a ride that ended in a spectacular fall: he rubbed shoulders with the Nazi elite yet abandoned the Reich at the height of its power on a secret quest to strike a deal with the enemy. Hitler’s deputy flew a gruelling thousand-mile secret flight to Britain – in the middle of the Blitz. Nazi Underworld s2e1: The Hess Enigma, National Geographic 2013
An old man pacing the yard alone. ibid.
He would reach out to Britain, make peace, and re-establish himself as a bright spark in the Nazi elite. ibid.
Churchill: Do you mean to tell me that the Deputy Fuhrer of Germany is in our hands? … Hess or no Hess, I’m going to see the Marx Brothers. ibid. attributed
A life in captivity. ibid.
October 1945: One of the most fanatical of all Nazis is marched into Nuremberg prison. Rudolf Hess had been Adolf Hitler’s deputy. Now he was on trial for his life. Nuremberg – Nazis on Trial, Discovery History 2013
His mental state presented a major threat to the Allies. ibid.
Hess would enter a new phase of bizarre behaviour. ibid.
The first charge against Hess was conspiracy. ibid.
Hess was one of ten defendants who escaped the death penalty. ibid.
National Socialist legislation has acted to correct foreignism. I say ‘corrected’ because in National Socialist Germany Judaism has by no means been ruthlessly exterminated. Rudolf Hess
The Fuhrer has often stressed Germany’s commitment to peace. Rudolf Hess
I was permitted to work for many years of my life under the greatest son whom my people has brought forth in its thousand-year history. Even if I could, I would not want to erase this period of time from my existence. I am happy to know that I have done my duty, to my people, my duty as a German, as a National Socialist, as a loyal follower of my Führer. I do not regret anything. If I were to begin all over again, I would act just as I have acted, even if I knew that in the end I should meet a fiery death at the stake. No matter what human beings may do, I shall some day stand before the judgment seat of the Eternal. I shall answer to Him, and I know He will judge me innocent. Rudolf Hess, statement to Nuremberg trials
When my father told Churchill the story ... Churchill said to him: ‘Do you mean to tell me that the Deputy Fuhrer of Germany is in our hands?’ And he looked at my father as though he was having hallucinations. And my father said: ‘That was who he said he was.’ And Churchill replied: ‘Well Hess or no Hess I am going to see the Marx Brothers.’ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
How could Hess do this to me? Adolf Hitler
Reflecting upon the whole of the story, I am glad not to be responsible for the way in which Hess has been and is being treated. Whatever may be the moral guilt of a German who stood near to Hitler, Hess had, in my view, atoned for this by his completely devoted and frantic deed of lunatic benevolence. He came to us of his own free will, and, though without authority, had something of the quality of an envoy. He was a medical and not a criminal case, and should be so regarded. Winston Churchill, The Grand Alliance 1950
Hess was slightly off balance for as long as I can recall. Why the Fuhrer kept him on as head of the party was a mystery to most people, but to me I always felt it was Hitler’s loyalty to his old friends. I remember Hess had a bright idea once in treating me for some neuralgia that I had at the time. It was in 1936 or so. Anyway, one day lots of pots and pans arrived of all different sizes. I didn't know what they were for. One was for soaking my arm, another my forearm, another size for my leg, my thing, and so on. I called him up and asked him what he had sent me so many pots for – did he think I wanted to start an aquarium? But Hess explained that I told him I had neuralgia and that this was the treatment for it. I thanked him over the telephone and laughed for days. Hermann Goering, interview Leon Goldensohn 1946
A number-three man who was merely an innocent middleman transmitting Hitler’s orders without even reading them, like a postman or delivery boy. Robert H Jackson
Winter 1923: A failed Nazi coup has left Hitler’s band of followers broken and split … From the chaos a new voice will galvanise the party and help lay the foundations for an empire of evil. Hitler’s Circle of Evil s1e2: Regrouping, Netflix 2018
Hess is thrilled to have fought beside his beloved Hitler. ibid.
It’s 1935: as the Nazis make their first moves on the European stage the fortunes of some leaders are up and some are down. Hitler’s Circle of Evil s1e5: The Berghof Set
It’s Rudolf Hess who is the biggest loser. And now they are joined by a dangerous new player: Martin Bormann, cunning and ruthless. ibid.
The biggest leader is deputy fuhrer Rudolf Hess. Hitler’s Circle of Evil s1e6: The Madness of Rudolf Hess
His commitment to Hitler is fanatical … Of all Hitler’s courtiers he feels the least able to influence unfolding events. ibid.
His outlandish plan is to go behind the Fuhrer’s back, fly to Britain and try to meet an influential contact who he hopes will introduce him to Winston Churchill. ibid.
With racist philosopher Alfred Rosenberg, Hess was a supporter of one of the more prominent groups – the Thule Society – which actively sought a Germany messiah. And was dedicated to the revival of a so-called Aryan master race. Nazis: The Occult Conspiracy, 1998
Hitler’s bid for power began on November 9th 1923 with an attempted overthrow of the Bavarian government. Leading a private army called Stormtroopers he launched a surprise attack on a beer hall where government leaders were meeting. With Hess and Rosenberg at his side, Hitler brashly announced the formation of a new government. Then took to the streets marching three thousand Stormtroopers through Munich. They were confronted by police; shots were fired, and sixteen of Hitler’s men were killed. It was a failed coup. But in the ten years before Hitler seized power the sixteen would become martyrs. ibid.